A video clip showing an ambulance rushing an injured patient to hospital being halted to make way for President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) motorcade drew condemnation from the netizens yesterday.
Incensed, some netizens criticized traffic controllers for “attaching greater importance to making way for government officials than the lives of ordinary people,” while others denounced the police, asking: “What would he do if the person in the ambulance was his mother.”
The incident took place on Thursday at 6:20pm at the crossroads of Zhongshan North Road and Minquan East Road in Taipei while traffic control was in place to make way for the president’s motorcade.
An ambulance with a patient on its way to hospital was called to a halt by the traffic police officer dispatched by Taipei City Police’s Zhongshan Precinct for nearly three minutes because of the president’s motorcade.
A passerby, who found the incident unbelievable, filmed it on a mobile phone. The clip was posted online, sparking an uproar.
In response, the precinct yesterday apologized and admitted negligence on the part of the traffic officer.
The officer has received two oral reprimands and his superior was also given an oral reprimand because of a lack of supervision, said Ko Mu-cheng (柯木成), an official from the Taipei City Police’s Inspectors’ Office.
The precinct would use the case as teaching material to enhance police training, he added.
Ko said the National Security Council’s Special Service Command Center, which is in charge of safeguarding the security of the president and the vice president, has issued a notice stating that the president and vice president’s motorcades should give way to emergency vehicles.